And so I find myself living in the high desert country near Santa Fe, at the crossroads of geography, climate and culture. Half of the year the Sangre de Cristo Mountains ten miles east of me are snow capped, yet the land here desperately needs water. The tourists look for those lovely clear blue skies, while the locals (and photographers like me) look for the clouds. Those mountains are hundreds of millions of years old, yet a similar distance to the west are the Jemez Mountains, only one or two million years of age: young and volcanic. West of the Jemez Mountains is the San Juan Basin: millions upon millions of years of sandstones layered with petrified trunks of trees and the bones of dinosaurs. Nearby are vast lava beds, some from eruptions mere thousands of years ago. There are thousand year old roads out in the desert, while fragments of "modern" Route 66 still cross the state. It's a place of contrasts.
When I moved to New Mexico I had thought that I would use this area as a launching point for excursions all over the Colorado Plateau. I was happily mistaken: There is more to see and experience near to me than I ever could have imagined, and my list of places to explore in New Mexico never seems to get shorter, or less interesting. Happy Trails!